Change is inevitable, and we’re living in an era of accelerated change. And despite its immediacy in our personal and business lives, we always maintain an unhealthy relationship with it.
Typically, we’re inclined to seek comfort, predictability, and consistency. But change is the exact opposite. It delivers complexity, uncertainty, and discomfort. It comes with struggle, which the average person avoids like the plague.
Struggling sucks, no question. But the things you don’t enjoy or find challenging can be the most effective building blocks of your confidence and skills. In other words, struggles develop us, and they’re also where we derive a lasting sense of accomplishment. You can’t achieve this through comfort.
The Dangers of Being Always Comfortable
The comfort zone is most people’s ideal. When you stay in it, you’ll perform similar activities repeatedly, hence can draw on the experience you’ve earned from previous performances.
Also, doing what you know can inspire confidence, minimize risk, and limit anxiety. The comfort zone can also be rejuvenating, especially after pushing yourself beyond your typical boundaries.
But despite its “idealness,” the comfort zone can be the most dangerous place for you. When you avoid activities that somewhat challenge or scare you, you can’t progress. Comfort limits personal improvement, blocks you from achieving your goals, and makes your life miserable.
When you don’t struggle, you won’t discover your true self, and there’s not much to learn when you don’t go through a challenge. Finally, you’ll miss the chance to take risks, overcome doubt and discomfort, and expand your comfort zone.
Clearly, there are many reasons to teach yourself how to be comfortable whenever you’re experiencing discomfort.
Why Should You Put Up with The Struggle?
The struggle sucks. No doubt. Sure, we all understand it’s an inherent part of our lives, but no one can wake up in the morning, cross their fingers, and say, “man I hope I struggle today like never before.” And yet here we are, struggling with our own issues. So let’s check out the bright side of struggling, shall we?
Struggle Is a Cruel but Good Teacher
We learn more through struggle. You probably dislike this fact as much as I do, but it’s the real truth.
It’s common to find people struggling to frustration when they’ve shifted to a new industry, have a new leadership position, or are moving from corporate employment to entrepreneurship.
Change comes with a huge learning curve. It’s okay to stumble under the weight of new responsibilities or feel disappointed that your herculean efforts only deliver feeble results. Just give it time – you’re undergoing a deep learning phase.
The Struggle Teaches Us to Manage Emotions
Struggling subjects us to disappointment, sadness, frustration, or even anger. These aren’t exactly pleasant feelings, but we face them regularly. With time, you’ll learn to manage your emotions healthily.
You shouldn’t bury your feelings or use them as justifications to act out. Rather, you should accept them without judging and then use your most effective methods of working through difficult times. The best way to learn these vital skills is through struggling.
You’ll Be Willing to Learn Something New
The frustration you encounter when struggling may leave you feeling more open-minded about alternative ways out. Why? Struggling is like feedback, notifying you that whatever you do isn’t working.
Struggling with a problem and discovering that your solutions aren’t as effective as you thought they’d be will force you to try new things you likely wouldn’t attempt if everything sailed along smoothly. You’ll have to reinvent your approach to the situation because you must.
Tried and true methods and comfort zones are okay when the work is a piece of cake. However, the discomfort of struggle will eventually force you to think and act differently.
You’ll Learn How to Use Failure
The struggle is often associated with “failure,” a powerful tool when you use it properly. Anyone who never struggles may never learn how to use a letdown to their advantage.
The world’s most successful personalities have stories of failure and have likely used their losses to come back stronger and better. When you understand the struggle, you’ll learn that failing isn’t as traumatic as you might imagine.
Struggling Boosts Your Performance
Someone who struggles with an issue by themselves before finally getting assistance generally performs better than those who haven’t – when they encounter a problem for the second time.
So if you’re only concerned about initial performance, the struggle won’t necessarily help you. On the other hand, your grind will likely pay off if you’re focusing on long-term performance.
This is also called “productive failure.” According to researchers, fumbling with an issue early on can foster “hidden efficacy,” as you’ll understand the problem better after you’ve struggled with it.
It’s myopic to focus on initial performance exclusively. The struggle trumps effortlessness in the long run.
You Appreciate Yourself More Through Struggle
Putting up a good fight boosts your self-esteem, especially if things work out. The fact that you are ready to keep grinding when the average person would’ve surrendered is a great feeling.
Just like we always admire those who make it through obstacles, you’ll also like yourself when you beat hurdles.
The Struggle Boosts Your Mental Strength
When you struggle, you can become stronger psychologically. On the other hand, living an easy life can leave you mentally wimpy.
Generally, only those who’ve faced challenges have the chance to enhance their mental fortitude. Think about anyone you know who’s lived a soft life. How tough are they?
Practical Tips to Navigate the Struggle Successfully
As you already know, struggling will take you to the next level. But it’s never that smooth, and many people have given up despite their knowledge of the good things that lie ahead.
So, how do you stay resilient as you struggle toward your end goal? The following steps will make you strong to embrace challenges while building confidence and skills:
- Accept that the experience sucks – Positively oriented emotions are a common self-help approach that can help you waste less energy on personal dialogue. Instead, you’ll focus on constructive behaviors like addressing your current challenge step by step.
- Focus on meaning and purpose – Meaning and purpose entail goal achievement, mastery of a skill, and contribution to others. Connecting to them means you’ll have an easier time navigating your struggles, boosting your chances of achieving your objective.
- Marvel at your own confidence – We always crave courage, and past moments that reflect a lack of it are among our greatest regrets. When you frame your behavior as courage, you immediately assume a more action-oriented, engaged mindset. So stay courageous and always appreciate your confidence level as you beat your hurdles one by one.
- Celebrate your progress – Don’t underestimate the power of small wins. These help you experience a sense of progress, dramatically increasing your capacity to tolerate discomfort. Celebrating your milestones helps you live in the moment, and you’ll easily acknowledge progress.
The Bottom Line
It’s time you develop your resilience, resourcefulness, creativity, and problem-solving skills. You’ll stand out if you grasp this opportunity and roll with it.
Struggling helps you learn new things, get experimental, and tweak your strategy. Ultimately, the more skills you enhance, the more opportunities you’ll attract.
So don’t fear the difficulties you’re currently facing. Instead, just embrace the struggle.